Thu | Apr 27, 2017

BVI waives visa requirements for CSA top-level meeting

Published:Tuesday | April 28, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Caribbean Shipping Association president, Grantley Stephenson addresses delegates attending the 2014 CSEC held in Miami.
Aerial views of the BVI Port Expansion Project.
BVI Port expansion project
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BVI waives visa requirements for CSA top-level meeting

The more than 150 key decision makers in Caribbean shipping expected to visit Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI), for the 14th Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference (CSEC) in a few weeks, have had visa requirements waived by authorities in that territory as organisers seek to ensure a smooth registration process for the critical meeting.

The annual conference, jointly hosted by the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA), and the British Virgin Island's Ports Authority (BVIPA), will run from May 11-13, at the UP's Cineplex Ballroom in the heart of Tortola.

gesture of goodwill

As a gesture of goodwill and in order to encourage greater participation by industry players, the BVI authorities graciously agreed that delegates who previously required a visa to enter the Caribbean territory to attend the CSEC will have the requirement waived. As such, interested parties can still register online by visiting the CSA's website www.caribbeanshipping.org.

To benefit from the waiver, delegates only need to provide the following:

• A copy of their passport-information page

• Travel itinerary (airline version)

• Completed visa-waiver application form.

In the meantime, the conference organisers said that delegates would find the information shared at this meeting invaluable, given discussions will focus on critical topics and their impact on the region's shipping industry. Key among these are proposed tariffs and other emerging issues resulting from the pending opening of the expanded Panama Canal.

Executive assistant to the BVIPA's managing director, Nadia Demming, one of the event's key organisers, listed among the other agenda items for discussion trade and customs facilitation; updates on the LNG industry; drug trafficking in the Caribbean; marine terminal logistics; the role of shipping and shipping agents; corporate social responsibility: shipping and ports; the state of the region's cruise industry; and a special forum on who should manage the region's cruise product.

conference

"At the conference, port executives and their counterparts discuss and share information in support of the development of shipping in the region. They allow the CSA to disseminate said information and to organise technical fora for the discussion of specific ideas and methods," Demming noted.

She encouraged all related agencies to attend, including shipping and port agents, cargo-vessel companies, and any agency that currently offers services to the port and its companies such as stevedoring and trucking companies.

The BVIPA has also planned a cultural programme and tours for the delegates so they can better appreciate the total package offered by BVI, which is well on its way to completing its port expansion and upgrading project.